A guest post by – My Husband
During a recent overseas business trip I read about an experiment to choose six clothing items and only use those items for a month. You could have multiple copies of each item, even a different colour counted as a separate item but underwear, sleepwear, shoes and jackets etc did not count. I looked at my standard travel wardrobe, and found two pairs of Columbia pants, four sweat-wicking golf shirts (three colours) and two pairs of shorts. Five items to which I could add a more formal shirt for those dressier occasions, and still meet the Six Items or Less challenge. I lived with these five items for three weeks, and as you read this I am using them again for a month in Italy. No one ever comments on my limited wardrobe, and my daily choices are limited to picking the colour of my shirt for the day. Could I live like this for longer periods, or is six items too few to cover every contingency?
I decided that with some minor modifications, the experiment could be applied to my every day life and significantly reduce the size of my wardrobe. The first adaptation was to allow different colours of the same items so my four golf shirts would become one item. I also allowed myself some latitude items that get regular use in rotation with other similar items. For example, I had many long-sleeve shirts of different brands from which I selected the ones I use regularly and counted them as one item. As these items wear out I will look at following my plan to find an item I like that will replace all the differing brands. Using these adaptations, I have reduced my wardrobe to seven items plus work uniforms that are supplied and required by my employer.
I feel liberated from the fashion cycle, and yet have retained the best of my clothes while ridding myself of clothes that are functional but never made it into my rotation. For most of us, we keep returning to the same old favourites until they fall apart, so why clutter our closets with clothes that are never going to be worn? With a smaller clothing footprint, the clothes are not jammed into the hanging space, come off the hanger ready to wear and I can see my entire wardrobe in one place.
The Six Items or Less challenge looks daunting at first but a worthwhile experiment for anyone seeking to simplify their life. The original experimenters had a variety of experiences, and you can read their stories here. Now it is your turn.
ITEM 242 OF 365 LESS THINGS